This morning I was curling my hair and getting ready for church and hadn’t realized that my three year old had (as usual) escaped the house. I went outside in my curlers and had this conversation with him on his bike –
Me: Danny, I need you to come back inside. I didn’t know you were outside and I was worried
Danny: But I wanted to ride my bike
Me: Well, I need you to come back inside now. Do you want to go to meetings with dad? He’s coming back to get you and you don’t get to go unless you’ve been obedient
Danny (lights up): Yes! Yes! I go to ABCs with dad!!
Believe it or not, this is a typical Sunday conversation with Danny. He *loves* to go to church meetings, and luckily for him his dad is our ward’s Young Men’s President and has a plethora of meetings to attend on a Sunday morning. As the apocryphal 14th article of faith states – “We believe in meetings, we hope for meetings, we have endured many meetings, and hope to be able to endure all meetings. If there is any reason for a meeting, we seek after it.” (Note: for those not of our faith, this is not a real article of our faith, it’s a tongue in cheek spoof of a portion of our 13th article of faith, but for those with demanding callings it sometimes feels true) He started calling his dad’s meetings “ABCs” which is a pretty apt way to categorize the alphabet soup that are church meetings (PEC, BYC, PPI etc). As soon as Danny saw that I’d pulled out his suit this morning he was so excited to get all dressed up for church. He got dressed as much on his own as he could and was so pumped to get to go. He even sits relatively quietly through his dad’s meetings, that’s why he has his notebook in the picture above – so he can take his notes in the meeting.
Our family likes to giggle about Danny and his love of meetings, but I was thinking about it this morning and I’ve decided that I want to be more like Danny. He acts like it is a great privilege to get to go to these meetings while most of us who are actually required to go to such meetings dread them. But Danny is right, it is a great privilege to have a calling to serve those around us. As King Benjamin taught –
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
What greater privilege could there be than to use our humble gifts in the service of God? We are so blessed to be in a position to serve others and to be given that responsibility is a tremendous gift. We should rejoice to have the opportunity to share the blessings we’ve been given with our brothers and sisters in love.
I also like his attitude about his church clothes. Most of us are loath to put on a dress or a shirt and tie to go to our church meetings. It’s not convenient, it’s not comfortable, and most of us think “do I have to?” I read an article earlier this week entitled, “Are Americans dressing too sloppy for Sabbath worship?” which addressed the increasingly casual attitude of Americans in their church services. I thought a lot on what I had read, and it bothered me a little bit the thought that we might judge people on how they dress for church. I think if someone shows up to church in yoga pants and a tank top we should welcome them in and love them, just as they are. However, I think it is a problem that we are less willing to get ourselves dressed up for church. There is wisdom in the idea of putting on our “Sunday best”. I think it shows respect to our Father in Heaven and shows that we are willing to make Sunday a little different from any other day. Even if it is acceptable to go to the office in jeans and a t-shirt that doesn’t change how we should approach our Sabbath worship. Cleaning up and dressing up for Sunday shows that we’ve made some preparation for how we approach our Lord. It signals that we appreciate what a privilege it is to come to church, partake of the sacrament and renew our covenants, and that we take that privilege seriously.
I guess I’m understanding a little more why our Savior taught –
Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.